Online dating matching algorithms
Samantha Joel of the University of Utah discovered after years of researching attraction.“Studies show that people have all these preferences, requirements and deal-breakers for what they want in a potential partner, but as soon as they’re presented with someone, all those things go out the window,” Dr. She proved this with her own study, in which she presented people with dates that had at least 2 of their personal deal breakers — things they had explicitly said they did not want in a partner. This is because even if a potential date has qualities we thought we’d never touch with a 10-foot pole (for example, they still to Limp Bizkit), if that person has other redeeming qualities (for example, they have a great ass), we’ll usually give it a shot.But all those nights we waste on dates that fail to live up to the promise of their profile seem to be a necessary evil.For centuries, entrepreneurial types have claimed to possess the secrets of romantic attraction, promising that their charms, potions, or drugs are the solution to the search for a perfect mate.However, these companies with “scientific algorithms” haven’t let any actual scientists see their miraculous algorithms.Odds are, they’re too fearful that researchers would find their science is a bunch of good-for-nothing gobbledygook, which is precisely what psychologist Dr.Not exactly, according to an article to be published in a forthcoming issue of a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
That’s why millions of Americans are spending billions of dollars on dating sites like Eharmony, or OKCupid — services that claim they can use “scientifically-proven matching systems” to weed out all those sub-par suitors and leave you with only the cream of the crop.Yet the strongest predictors of relationship well-being, such as a couple’s interaction style and ability to navigate stressful circumstances, cannot be assessed with such data.According to Finkel, “developers of matching algorithms have tended to focus on the information that is easy for them to assess, like similarity in personality and attitudes, rather than the information that relationship science has found to be crucial for predicting long-term relationship well-being.Then, participants rated how attracted they felt to each person they met.Surprise, surprise, the scientific algorithm couldn’t make any damn sense of the results. Some of the models we ran got a negative percentage, which means you're better off just guessing." Online dating sites that pride themselves on their “scientifically-proven matching systems” have yet to acknowledge the real science that pokes massive holes in their business model. Joel’s study highlights just how little scientists currently understand about attraction.
In a preface to the report, psychological scientist Arthur Aron at the State University of New York at Stony Brook recommends the creation of a panel that would grade the scientific credibility of each online dating site.